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Alert for Online Businesses: A New Ranking Factor is Coming

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Organic rankings are something online businesses always crave for. And they should be because organic rankings drive the most traffic and are free of cost. You don’t have to pay a single penny, and you’ll get a significant traffic flow to your website.

However, top organic rankings require your website’s optimization according to the search engine guidelines and ranking factors. You need to obey all the guidelines and follow the best practices for your site optimization to win the top organic rankings.

Search engines always try to provide the best browsing experience to users, and that’s why they keep updating their algorithm, webmaster guidelines, and ranking factors. 

You have to update your website according to these updates in order to get top rankings. Otherwise, your website will be buried on the SERP page that no user ever reaches. 

Google recently announced a new ranking factor that will roll out probably in May 2021, and you need to optimize your site to maintain, or raise, your rankings in the search results.

Let’s discuss this new ranking factor and what you need to update on your website.

Core Web Vitals (New Ranking Factor)

This ranking factor will focus on your site’s user experience and you want to make it the best. It has some parameters to analyze your site and conclude if you are suitable for users or not.

Current page experience factors are Safe Browsing, Mobile-Compatibility, HTTPS Security, and Intrusive Interstitial Guidelines.  

The below three web vitals will join the above page experience signals.

1. Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)

LCP measures the time your website takes to show the largest content in the viewport, ready for interaction. It tracks the website’s first fold without scrolling and analyzes how fast your website loads the maximum content completely. 

Hence, the largest contentful paint will measure the loading time of whatever content you are using in the first fold, like images, video thumbnails, background images with CSS, text content, etc.

A good score for LCP will be less than or equal to 2.5 seconds. It means your largest content in the first fold should load in less than 2.5 seconds. 

If you exceed this time frame, you need to optimize your site to load in under 2.5 seconds.

Tools for Measuring LCP?

You may use the tools below to test your site for core web vitals and track your improvements. 

PageSpeed Insights

Chrome DevTools


How to fix LCP?

Here are some tips you can use to optimize your site for a good LCP score. 

  • Optimize Image Sizes
  • Employ an Image CDN
  • Avoid Javascript to Load Images
  • Get Faster Hosting

So, do all these optimizations to get a good LCP score and best engage your users. Otherwise, your users will return to the search results and might convert with your competitor. 

2. First Input Display (FID) 

This metric will focus on the interactivity of your site. FID will track how fast your site becomes ready and functional for the first user action.

Many sites don’t respond to user actions like click or touch for a significant time which spoils the user experience. Hence, you need to optimize your site such that it becomes ready for interaction ASAP.

Users and soon search engines won’t like it if your site is not responding quickly to a user’s actions. 

The recommended time for First Input Display is less than 100ms. You need to meet this score on both mobiles and desktops to meet the FID standard.

Tools for Measuring FID? 

PageSpeed Insights

Chrome DevTools


How to fix FID?

If your website’s FID is long, then you need to work on your website to make your site user interaction ready in the prescribed time.

First, you need to ensure your website’s UX has the highest standards. A good UX will smooth user interaction with the site. 

The next thing you’ll be working on is JavaScript. JavaScript is responsible for long loading and many processes which increases FID time. You may want to try delaying long-lasting processes by 50ms while loading to smooth the load and achieve a good FID score.

Your priority for initial loading should be the components that are responsible for the interactivity. 

Good FID allows users to fill forms, sign in, sign up, buy, book, etc., quickly which will aid your business. So, you’ll not only get the rankings but earn more conversions as well.

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)

CLS will focus on the visual stability of your website. When the website loads, there are many elements loading simultaneously, and the layout changes accordingly. Users have to wait till the website gains its stability in order to interact. 

You must have experienced clicking on something during website loading and inadvertently clicking something else due to a sudden layout shift. 

Below are the prominent reasons for unexpected layout shifts.

  • Images with no dimensions
  • Ads or iframes with no dimensions
  • Dynamic content
  • Improper use of fonts causing FOIT (Flash of Invisible Text)and FOUT (Flash of Unstyled Text)

A good CLS score is one where the number of unexpected layout shifts of the visual page content should be less than 0.1.

Tools for Measuring CLS? 

PageSpeed Insights

Chrome DevTools


How to fix CLS? 

You need to identify the elements that are causing layout shifts. Use the above tools or visit your website pages to determine the scope of needed improvement and to discover what’s creating the mess.

When you improve your CLS, users can engage with your site effectively which will, of course, help you increase your sales and rankings.

These are the three core web vitals that will roll out soon. So, optimize accordingly to get better rankings and generate significant traffic. 

Moreover, when you optimize your site according to web vitals, you’ll ultimately provide the best site experience to the user which will increase the conversion rate.

So, be ready to welcome this new ranking factor soon and optimize to continue having the best results.

About the author


Gajendra Singh Rathore

Gajendra Singh Rathore is an SEO expert cum content writer and associated with a digital marketing agency in Toronto. He is always eager to learn, experiment, and implement. Astronomy is his escape from the outside world.